07/14/2016 14:35 EDT | Updated 07/15/2017 01:12 EDT

Illegal venomous snakes found in mail Canada Post distribution centre in B.C.

RICHMOND, B.C. — A slithering surprise was discovered in a package mailed from China at the British Columbia Canada Post distribution centre last week.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Environment says three venomous mountain pit vipers were inside a package destined for Manitoba

Two of the snakes were already dead, while the third had escaped its container and was found loose in a larger box.

Ministry spokesman Chris Doyle says the vipers are dangerous and no antivenin exists for the species in Canada.

The surviving snake was successfully caught and its fate will be determined by environment officials, although it is considered an illegal species in British Columbia.

Doyle says officials are investigating the origins of the package and the Manitoba connection.